EVIAN verliert UDRP-Verfahren um eviantclip.com weil Domain auf Drittmarke EVIANT ausgerichtet ist

22. August 2013 | Kategorien: Domainrecht, UDRP

Die zur DANONE Gruppe gehörende Herstellerin des Mineralwassers EVIAN, Société Anonyme des Eaux Minérales d’Evian, scheiterte mit dem Versuch, den Domainnamen „eviantclip.com“ im Wegen des UDRP-Verfahrens übertragen zu bekommen (Société Anonyme des Eaux Minérales d’Evian (SAEME) v. Orlin Zefirov / Domain Administrator PrivacyGuardian.org, WIPO Case No. D2013-0850). Das Schiedsgericht ging zwar davon aus, dass zwischen dem Domainnamen und den EVIAN-Marken eine verwechslungsfähige Ähnlichkeit im Sinne des § 4(a)(i) der UDRP besteht, sah es jedoch nicht als nachgewiesen an, dass der Domainname durch den Domaininhaber im Hinblick auf die EVIAN-Marken bösgläubig im Sinne des § 4(a)(iii) der UDRP registriert wurde. In diesem Zusammenhang stellte das Panel darauf ab, dass im vorliegenden Fall der Umstand, dass die EVIAN-Marke im Domainnamen enthalten ist, kein hinreichender Hinweis darauf sei, dass der Domaininhaber diese zum Zeitpunkt der Registrierung des Domainnamens kannte, weil es eine zu Gunsten eines Dritten registrierte Marke EVIANT gebe, die dem Domainnamen noch ähnlicher sei. Auch die unter dem Domainnamen abrufbar gehaltenen Werbelinks hätten mehr Bezug zum Schutzbereich der Marke EVIANT als zu dem der EVIAN-Marken:

This is one of such cases: considering the existence of the trademark EVIANT, which coexists in the marketplace with Complainant’s trademark EVIAN, and the fact that the disputed domain name resolves to a page that does not make any reference to Complainant’s trademark EVIAN, nor to mineral water or any sort of drinks and beverages, the Panel finds there is no compelling evidence of bad faith of Respondents towards Complainant.

It is indeed true that Complainant is famous for its “video clips” advertisements with dancing babies, but from that it does not automatically follow that Respondent’s intent was to take advantage of Complainant’s publicity campaign by e.g. benefitting from an Internet user’s typing mistake (“typosquatting”). This Panel finds that if Respondent’s intent were to “typosquat” it would more likely have registered all possible letters between “evian” and “clip” (which is not the case here), or have chosen a letter that in the QWERTY keyboards (the more commonly used in the Western Hemisphere) were located close to the “N” (the last letter of “evian”) or to the “C” (the first letter of “CLIP”). Instead, Respondent chose the letter “T” that is located far in the QWERTY keyboard from both “N” and “C”, which make virtually impossible for a typographical mistake of the Internet user to occur. In other words, the Panel’s view is that a person will only type “eviant” if they intend to do so, and not inadvertantly.

The third element of the UDRP requires that a respondent has targeted the trademark and goodwill established by a complainant. It is the Panel’s opinion, on the present record, that there is not sufficient evidence that Respondents targeted Complainant when registering the disputed domain name. It is important to stress that any attempt of Respondents to make profit on the goodwill of the electronics company and their trademark EVIANT can only be subject of an objection filed by such company, and not by Complainant. It is not for the Panel to decide this Complaint based on rights that are presumed to belong to a third party, not involved in the proceedings.

It is also important to stress that the UDRP is a limited legal proceeding, designed for clear cases of bad faith conduct, that can be shown within the narrow scope of the expedite proceedings. In many UDRP cases bad faith is inferred from the overall factual circumstances of the case. But any such inference of bad faith must be based on the overall circumstances of the case and in the present case the overall circumstances do not allow the Panel to conclude that Respondents have targeted the trademark or the goodwill of Complainant.

In short, despite the fact that the disputed domain name incorporates the trademark EVIAN, the disputed domain name also incorporates the trademark EVIANT and the website at the disputed domain name displays links to commercial webpages which the Panel finds to be more likely related to the trademark EVIANT. In light of the aforesaid, the Panel notes that the disputed domain name might have been registered with an intention of being connected to trademark EVIANT, but this is not for the Panel to decide here. What is at stake in this proceeding is only whether the disputed domain name was registered and used with an intention of being connected to Complainant’s trademark EVIAN and to this question the Panel answers that not only there is no proof of such intention in the current record, but also that certain aspects of the record may point to the opposite direction, i.e. that Respondent’s intention was not to target Complainant.

Accordingly, the Panel finds that Complainant has not satisfied the requirements of paragraph 4(a)(iii) of the Policy.

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